Something I think many of us in the helping field struggle with is feeling responsible for more than we really need to.
Clients come in with their negative self-talk, chaotic feelings, and messy relationship dynamics, and I think it’s easy to absorb it all and feel an ultimate sense of responsibility for it.
We’re the helpers.
We’re the healers.
We’re the ones who will actually take the time to listen.
The trouble is that much of what is poured out in our lap is not our responsibility. And even more of it we have absolutely no control over.
Last I checked, I cannot control the thoughts and feelings of another. I cannot control the choices someone else makes. I cannot control the chaotic environments and systems my clients are embedded in.
I have found that I’ve given so so SO much time and energy to worrying about these things that I cannot control, these things that at the end of the day I am not even responsible for.
It’s exhausting. It’s discouraging. And at times it’s so frustrating.
So today, I’m trying to give myself permission to let it go. To name specifically what I have taken on that is not mine to take on, put it in a little mental boat, and set it out to sea.
Goodbye so and so’s feelings.
Goodbye so and so’s choices.
Goodbye so and so’s progress.
I can listen to you, validate you, offer you my warmth and my compassion, my thoughtful questions and perspective.
But I cannot control you. And even if I could, it would be wrong of me to do so.
So be free.
I loosen my grip and earnestly wish the best for you.
And as I do this, I feel space opening within me. Space that I have rarely gotten to visit.
It’s home. It’s my space.
Scattered feelings and dreams and hurts that I’ve abandoned and neglected as I’ve taken on so much of everyone else’s world.
And I feel a sadness well up. A sadness I think I’ve carried for a while and so wished someone would notice within me. But it’s mine to notice, mine to name and to feel.
What is it particularly about? It’s hard to tell. I’m still listening, still turning it in my hand.
But it’s something like the sadness of realizing you’ve been away from home for far too long. And unsure about how to come back.
So, that’s what I’m sitting in. That’s the work at hand.
I know this was a little rambly today, but I hope you can find some lightness as you let go of what is not yours and find space for what is.